Tag Archives: liberal democrats

Charlotte Henry resigns from the Liberal Democrats

Prominent blogger and journalist, Charlotte Henry, has today resigned from the Liberal Democrats. She explains her reasons on her blog:

Today, with genuine sadness, I am resigning from the Liberal Democrat party.

I joined in 2009, becoming an intern for Don Foster MP. There are few better ways to get a political education than chasing after Don. Since then I’ve campaigned and consulted for candidates, held senior roles in the youth wing, and stood for the London Assembly and my local council. However, I can no longer remain in the Liberal Democrats.

Posted in News | 52 Comments

Let’s match up Doctors and (Liberal) Democrat leaders

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 16.13.30Tonight is the finale of Peter Capaldi’s first season playing the Doctor. I have been a very poor excuse for a Doctor Who fan this year. I had to cram in four episodes last night to catch up. It’s been difficult to watch them live due to the Referendum, Conference and, ironically, a Doctor Who convention keeping me busy. The added complication is that our house and lounge where our only television is, has been taken over by teenagers every week.

Anyway, I’m now caught up and am livid and awestruck in equal measure. Don’t get me wrong, Capaldi’s Doctor is brilliant – and played fantastically. I hear from people who know that he is so immensely professional on set with every single aspect of his performance fully prepared and worked out. He’s also great at supporting other members of the cast. I also love the fact that we’ve seen different aspects to Clara from grief-stricken derangement to superb leadership. It shows he can write decent female characters (though he managed it with Kate Stewart) so if we could have more of them and fewer of the River Song/Tasha Lem types,I’ll be happy. It’s not that I don’t like River and Tasha, but Moffat’s women come from a very small range.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Cardiff Council under Lib Dems: Clear leadership, effective financial management. Cardiff Council under Labour: Fragmented leadership, weak performance

One of the most heartbreaking things about the last four years has been seeing really good, outstanding Liberal Democrat Councillors lose their seats and Liberal Democrat councils losing office through no fault of their own.

This stuff matters because, frankly, if the quality of services a Council provides deteriorates, people suffer.

Compare and contrast the Wales Audit Office reports of 2011, when the Liberal Democrats were in power, and 2014 when Labour were two years into their term of office.

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Opinion: Why I rejoined the Liberal Democrats

I sit here having just rejoined the Liberal Democrats. I was previously a member and considered getting active in my local area. I left because I felt dismayed by the type of politics that I was seeing happening around the country. UKIP were making gains in the European elections, every politician I hear or representative blamed other parties for the failures of the past. In 2010 I was very active within my personal capacity to do so. I delivered campaign material on the doors in all weathers. I had conversations with lifelong Conservative voters in an attempt to highlight the reasons why more Liberal Democrats in Parliament would be good for society. However, since then it seemed that even 4 years on everyone blames someone else for things not getting better.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 18 Comments

++ Susan Gaszczak resigns from the Lib Dems over handling of Chris Rennard allegations

Susan Gaszczak and her family have quit the party over the handling of the Chris Rennard allegations. Earlier this afternoon, Susan tweeted this, including her open resignation letter:

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LibLink: Sam Ghibaldan: Clegg needs to be assertive

Clegg on OsbourneI’m not going to lie, I bet a lot of you are thinking Sam who? Chances are if you live in Scotland, you’ll be less curious because you will know that he was a Senior Special Adviser to Scottish Liberal Democrat Deputy First Ministers Jim Wallace and Nicol Stephen. As such, his perspective on who the Liberal Democrats should proceed in the run up to the General Election is highly relevant. In a recent Scotsman column, he said that Nick Clegg needs to get out there and shout about our core beliefs.

Some of the headlines faced by Nick Clegg were also seen in Scotland:

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Opinion: Long term gains from short term arguments

Libby - Some rghts reserved by David SpenderMost participants in the post-election debate have concentrated on specific changes they want now: the Leader, his advisers, the communications team, the detail of policy issues etc.  I firmly believe that the underlying issues are systemic rather than one-off and that we should use the opportunity to establish structures for the future which minimise the likelihood of problems arising and improve our capacity as a democratic Party for dealing with them.

Some key targets:

  1. Agreement by the Party in advance on the elements which underpin construction

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 28 Comments

Opinion: Back in the front line – both of them

joinThis week, I applied to re-join the Liberal Democrats after a two and a half year absence.

Back then, I’d felt deep shame at what the party was (and wasn’t) doing in government: austerity, welfare reform, tuition fees, ham fisted attempts at both electoral and Lords reform, to name a few.

I’m still angry, and still ashamed, about much that Coalition has done. I’m a fierce critic of Nick Clegg, and I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the Orange Book. So why, you may ask, have I rejoined now?

Posted in Op-eds | 62 Comments

Opinion: An anti-Liberal Democrat press isn’t going to go any easier on any Liberal Democrat leader

Sun newspaper - License Some rights reserved by vapour trail Liberal Democrats 4 Change have a point about one thing. They are right to say that the Liberal Democrats do not get a fair hearing. However, they are mistaken to think that a leadership change would alter anything in this regard.

It is instructive to recall the moment Clegg began to get a bad rap from voters. At what point was this? The answer is not as obvious as you may think, It didn’t start with Secret Courts, Bedroom Tax or Tuition …

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What are Lib Dem MEPs doing for you?

We said yesterday that Lib Dem MEPs were too good to lose.

Here’s a short video which was played at the Conference rally at York this Spring which shows some of the excellent work that they do.

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Not everything you read on the internet about UKIP and Nigel Farage is true

nigel farageThis morning, Facebook timelines were bombarded with an image of Nigel Farage next to a quote in which he is supposed to have said that UKIP wanted to ban beards of more than 2 inches. “The beard goes or you go” he is supposed to have said on Anglia Radio on Saturday. After a quick (and horrible) mental image of Prime Minister Farage banning Z Z Top from entering the country, I quickly realised that it didn’t sound right. And if it had been true, such a juicy quote as …

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Opinion: Labour’s cheap attacks on Clegg’s integrity reflect badly on them

Labour broadcast Shrinking manThe word appalling doesn’t even begin to cover Labour’s most recent campaign video. It’s a spiteful attack ad on the character of Nick Clegg, and in case you haven’t seen it, you can find it here. Feel free to grab something to vomit into beforehand.

I’m a 16 year old student, and I joined the Liberal Democrats in 2013 for three reasons. I believe passionately that democracy in Britain is failing, and the Liberal Democrats are the only party that seek that cause with integrity. I couldn’t deal …

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Why people vote for Liberal Democrat Councillors

Cllr Phil Knowles and winning teamFollowing on from yesterday’s launch of the Liberal Democrat campaign for the local government elections, I thought I’d offer a few reflections on why people vote for Liberal Democrat councillors. Why is it that in places like Three Rivers in Hertfordshire and Oadby and Wigston that the Liberal Democrats have been in power for years on end?

Big hearts and hard work

Our councillors are embedded in their communities. They know what’s going on, they keep themselves in touch with what people are thinking and they  listen to …

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Party gets smart over fundraising

Pound coins with no dateWe know that the Obama campaign made great use of micro-fundraising during its two successful campaigns. If you are signed up to the emails, you’ll know the kind of thing. You get an email asking you to donate $5 before midnight to get a chance to have dinner with Obama or some (other) celebrity.

The Liberal Democrats have been experimenting a lot with that sort of thing. During the Eastleigh by-election I had a whole host of emails, with increasingly emotional appeals, designed to get me in my …

photo by: Images_of_Money
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Men, is your behaviour driving women out of politics?

Imagine you are in a meeting trying to make your case. How would you feel if, every time you opened your mouth to speak, somebody interrupted you before you had got to the end of your first sentence? Not just once. Every. Single.Time.

Imagine you are in a meeting, trying to make your case, but the decision has clearly been made by a small cabal of powerful men who have reached their own understanding over dinner and some booze the night before, at an event that you were not invited to.

Imagine you are in a meeting trying to do your job …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 93 Comments

Opinion: There is a place for Liberal Democrats within the trade union movement

On leaving the Labour Party last year (which I have written about here), I was asked if I was going to be leaving my trade union UNISON. I didn’t and no don’t intend to. The question confused me. I was a trade union activist in the Labour Party more than I was ever a Labour Party activist who happened to be in a trade union.

As a trade unionist I see the purpose of my membership is to be supported at work and to have the union collectively bargain on my behalf for better pay, terms and conditions at work. …

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Liberal Democrats end year with historic membership growth – but we must keep up the good work

The Liberal Democrats ended 2013 with 43,451 members, nearly 1000 more than we had at the start of the year.

This is historic for two reasons. Firstly, we’re the only party in recent history to increase their membership during a year in Government. Secondly, the party’s membership has dropped every year for the last decade (excluding a couple of bumps before general elections), so getting back to a position of growth in the middle of the electoral cycle is a significant achievement.

Underlying this headline is some more good news. The party’s retention of members is now just under 90%, which is …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Telegraph: “Liberal Democrats believe party can oust several Tories”

Yesterday’s Telegraph has a report that the Liberal Democrats believe that they can win or win back some seats currently held by the Tories.

The seats mentioned are Oxford West and Abingdon, Winchester and St Albans. These seats have all selected their candidates, Layla Moran, Jackie Porter and Sandy Walkington. I could also add Richmond Park, where Robin Meltzer is working hard, campaigning against Heathrow expansion with the help of two neighbouring cabinet ministers. In Harrogate we have Helen Flynn and in Newton Abbot and Truro and Falmouth, Richard Younger-Ross and Simon Rix are in place. All these candidates are …

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How should the Liberal Democrats deal with everyday sexism?

Today’s Daily Mail has an article making various allegations of sexist attitudes towards women within the Liberal Democrats. They’ve been running similar stories all week following the Rock the Boat fringe meeting earlier. One particular woman candidate says that she was told by someone in her local party not to get pregnant because “we don’t want a baby hanging of your t**s.”

The Daily Mail is an unlikely feminist champion, but that shouldn’t detract from the need to tackle such behaviour, which includes inappropriate questions to female candidates during the selection process about their relationships or their plans to have …

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Lord (Tom) McNally writes: The year ahead for Liberal Democrat Lords

LAST week I had the delight, honour and privilege to open the second day of the debate on the Queen’s Speech in the Lords –at four days long, practically the debating equivalent of test cricket.

As I told the House, I have never hidden the reality that, in the present economic climate, the Coalition Government has had to make hard decisions and tough choices to achieve an economic recovery underpinned by fairness. But I believe that in our first three years we have made the tough decisions necessary.

A new parliamentary year is beginning, however, and a new raft of legislation is …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Opinion: why I’m still a Liberal Democrat…

I’ve been a Liberal Democrat supporter as long as I can remember. My parents were involved with the party, and often shared their political views with my sister and I when we were children. Therefore, I suppose it is no surprise that I actively support the party today.

However, I have to confess that since the Coalition agreement, and the abandonment of the tuition fees promise, I have occasionally wondered why I continue to support the party. A little doubt was creeping into my mind. I never supported the tuition fee policy, but was a little disappointed that some MPs …

Posted in Op-eds | 11 Comments

Why it’s worth being a member of the Liberal Democrats

Today, the Liberal Democrats fulfilled their key election pledge of raising the income tax threshold to £10,000.

And they’ve produced a nifty little picture to tell us about it. And we should rightly be proud.

Tax Threshold infographic

 

 

This doesn’t tell the whole story, though. How did this get in to our manifesto in the first place? Did it fall out of the Orange Book and hit David Laws on the head? I have to say there’s no clue in either of the emails I’ve seen from Danny Alexander today.

Actually no. It came from …

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Julian Huppert MP writes…..The Preamble, 25 years on

25 years ago, our party agreed its new constitution – and the preamble to that constitution, setting out our core values and vision.

Many of us will know some of it – ‘The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, … in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance, or conformity’.

This extract – the bit that appears on membership cards – is in my view truly poetic, and captures brilliantly what we are trying to do. We are concerned about people, and empowering them to do what they can and want to do. …

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Farron: “We screwed this up”

Speaking on Radio Four’s Today programme, Party President Tim Farron spoke candidly about the the handling of the alleged inappropriate behaviour of the party’s former chief executive, stating very plainly:

The one thing I probably can tell you without going through due process is that we screwed this up as a party. There are individuals out there who we have a duty of care towards who we did not fulfil that duty of care to them and that is something we have to learn from, apologise for, and make sure never happens again.

He emphasised two key points which will guide the …

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New Labour group: Lib Dems might prove more tenacious than many people expect

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKProgress is a New Labour pressure group. On their website, Mark Rusling argues that there are strong signs that the Lib Dems are “waving, not drowning”. He bases this on evidence from local government, particularly from Waltham Forest Council:

…I have a gnawing worry that, while the Liberals aren’t thriving, neither are they drowning. They might prove more tenacious than many people expect.

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What do women Lib Dems want?

Last summer I wrote a survey that was sent to all party members, as part of informing the creation of a new Lib Dem women’s organisation. Colleagues at the Campaign for Gender Balance and the Women Liberal
Democrats are working on a new constitution, and I hope many Lib Dem Voice readers will consider joining, so please get in touch if you would like further details. Please email me at tamoralangleyATgmail.com, replacing “AT” with “@”.

Perhaps the trickiest issue to resolve, in a party characterised by people who tend to think of themselves as individuals rather than members of a group, is …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 4 Comments

LibLink: Andrew De Freitas – rebel with a cause

This is Grimsby has an in-depth article on veteran local councillor Andrew De Freitas:

A year after fleeing riots in his homeland, a young political activist from British Guiana arrived in Grimsby. In the first of a new series profiling our ward councillors, Local Government Reporter Simon Faulkner speaks to the Liberal Democrat Andrew De Freitas.

“I WAS always a bit of a rebel”, smiles Andrew De Freitas, recalling his childhood in the Caribbean colony of British Guiana.

“My father said ‘this boy when he grows up is going to be a lawyer’, because I was always prepared to argue on people’s

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Opinion: Against liberalism

Statue of David Lloyd George - Some rights reserved  by GabludlowI am a liberal. I believe in standing up for people and communities against over-powerful vested interests – in business, the State, the media, or the unions. However, I also believe that liberalism alone is an inadequate political philosophy, and an insufficient foundation for this Party.

The problem centres on our determination to play down the significance of Left and Right. We sneer that the concepts are simplistic. We seek to defuse or ignore left-right conflict. The inconvenient truth we deny is that Left and Right do matter, often enough to split our party.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 62 Comments

Opinion: We’ve got our strategy the wrong way round

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKLast Friday Lib Dem HQ sent out an email to parliamentarians, PPCs, council group leaders and other office holders about our party’s new message script. The full email, if anyone is interested, can be found herehere, courtesy of the Liberator.

Aside from the immensely catchy wordy message of “the Lib Dems are working to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life” (complete with an incredible 16 sub messages), a key point was this:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 41 Comments

Pizza entrepreneur’s £775,000 gift to Lib Dems questioned – Telegraph

The Sunday Telegraph reports that “the Liberal Democrats are facing an investigation into one of the party’s largest donors”. Part of the reports reads as follows:

The Electoral Commission has been asked to examine whether £775,000 paid to the Lib Dems by Rumi Verjee, the entrepreneur who brought Domino’s Pizzas to Britain, is an “impermissible donation”.

The payments were made through Brompton Capital Limited, a company with no staff that has not recorded a turnover since 2003.

Mr Verjee dined with Nick Clegg at Chevening, the grace and favour mansion in Kent used by the Lib Dem leader, a month after the second

Posted in News | 9 Comments
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